Rosa Flores is an award-winning CNN correspondent based in Houston, covering domestic news across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and international news for the network’s worldwide platforms.
Flores has led the network’s immigration coverage at the U.S./Mexico border, with a focus on humanitarian reporting which was recognized by InStyle Magazine’s list of 50 badass women. She has extensively covered the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the tragic collapse of the condo building in Surfisde, Florida. She has contributed to the network’s coronavirus pandemic coverage, reporting throughout Florida, with an emphasis on holding Governor Ron DeSantis accountable for his lockdown policies and vaccine rollout. She also told stories of how the pandemic impacted children, the unemployed, the elderly and the underprivileged.
Flores led CNN’s coverage on the U.S. Catholic church scandal, traveling across the country reporting on how clergy were being held accountable, as well as to the Vatican for the 2019 bishop conference on clergy sex abuse. Also notable was her 2019 coverage of American deaths in the Dominican Republic, families separated at the U.S./Mexico border and the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Her 2017 investigation into the death of Roshad McIntosh, a Chicago teenager who was shot and killed by a Chicago police officer, led to the reopening of the city’s investigation, and resulted in one of the officers involved being recommended for termination. Flores’ investigation is documented in a three-episode CNNgo documentary called “Beneath The Skin.” The project won high praise, including an EPPY Award and a National Association of Black Journalists Award.
Covering criminal justice stories is important for Flores. Her project, “The Disappearing Front Porch,” which gave a voice to children in Chicago who are caught in the crosshairs of violence. The project was awarded the Online Project: News by the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2017, she was awarded the John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Center on Media, Crime and Justice Reporting Fellowship.
Flores covered Pope Francis, from the papal plane, during his visits to Panama for World Youth Day, the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Chile, and Peru, including an impromptu marriage between two flight attendants some 36,000 feet in the air. She also traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay to cover Francis’ visit to his native South America. In 2018, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation honored her with a Distinguished Journalist Award for her coverage of the Pope and the Catholic Church.
Flores covered President Barack Obama’s visit to Argentina, and his attendance to the Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, which included the historic handshake between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century of cold war rivalry. Flores also traveled to Cuba to cover the reestablishment of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
She has covered international breaking news stories, including the 2017 earthquake in Mexico City, the 2015 explosion of a Mexico City maternity hospital, the 2015 detention of five Syrians in Honduras traveling with fake passports, the 2014 influx of unaccompanied minors across the U.S. southern border, and then their deportation back to Honduras. Flores also covered the lead up to the 2016 Rio Olympics from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2014, she spent more than two weeks in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero covering the disappearance of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa. Her coverage landed her the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Large Market Television Hard News Award.
Flores joined CNN in 2013. She has been based in Miami, New York City and Chicago. Before joining CNN, she anchored the 4pm newscast at WBRZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge. At WBRZ, she uncovered soil contamination in the East Baton Rouge Parish School District, which led to the testing of all schools in the district.
Prior to moving to Louisiana’s capital city, Flores covered enterprise and breaking news stories at WDSU-TV, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans. Starting in September 2007, she reported for KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston and started her career in TV reporting at KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City.
But news reporting is her second career. Read about how a prayer and a promise led to her career change in this Reporter Notebook.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, Bachelor’s degree in business administration, and Master’s degree in accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, where in 2018 she was honored as an Outstanding Young Texas Exes.
Flores is also a graduate of the FBI Miami Citizens Academy, was selected to serve as a judge for the Dan Rather Medals for News & Guts, and since 2018, has served on the Leadership Council of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.